A start-up, Agriconnekt Services, has taken two international agencies and a Nigerian company before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and a High Court based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, for an alleged breach of contract.
The start-up, Agriconnekt Services, alleges that Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, a German agency identified simply as GIZ; a US non-profit organization, Mercy Corps; and the Nigerian CoAmana breached its contract and diverted 1.3 million euros, an amount in which Agrionnekt participates.
Agriconnekt is therefore seeking $450,000 in damages, as well as payment of an additional $758,000, which the company says was indicated in a budget to be allocated to it from a project called “Smartdevelopmenthack”, organized by the German Federal Ministry for Cooperation. and Economic Development together with the Europe team and partners and implemented by GIZ, also known as the German Agency for International Development and Cooperation.
The firm, in a statement from its CEO, Dr. Brain Iweh, said: “After an intense online hackathon, Agrionnekt emerged as one of nine global winners, but GIZ, in collaboration with Mercy Corps, replaced Agrionnekt with a company called “Coamana” that was never one of the nine overall winners selected for the project after intense competition.
He added that eight global winners in other countries received their funds and began implementing their various projects, but Agrionnekt was denied funding as one of the duly selected global winners of the competition and was removed for various reasons.
Iweh said the alleged reasons given for the removal of Agrionnekt were that the company might not be able to manage the resources and deliver the project at an early stage.
He said: “While Agrionnekt provided the solution, they stood before the judges and fully participated in the whole process so that their digital agriculture and food safety value chain solution would therefore win the project. Furthermore, during the announced call for solutions, GIZ specified that startups can apply and by filling out the application form, Agrionnekt also identified that it is an early-stage startup.”